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56

When they can't tell me how. Sounds simple, but a wealth of detail is hidden in that simple question. When faced with an implausible action declaration, ask "How?". By asking, you're forcing your players to: Consider whether their action makes sense. Limit themselves to plausibility - if they can't even imagine a way that could work, then they won't be ...


55

No, there is no equivalent to a "skill check" in Dungeon World. Dungeon World operates on a different set of principles that don't require or really permit task-based resolution rolls. If you're playing DW, you have to give up the idea that everything requires a roll. The most important principle for this question is that dice are only rolled when a move ...


44

Sigh, I think others are making this more complicated than it is and aren't answering the right question. Perhaps it will make more sense if you restate that brief blurb as: The players determine what their characters say, think, and do. The GM describes everything else in the world. You "say" what your character does, the GM "says" (aka determines) ...


40

In Writing? First, I can assure you that this question gives a thorough and rather objective explanation of the problem. So, if you can communicate this way in writing, perhaps that is best way to deal with your GM? Also, surely as your friend, Bob understands your social struggle and would make some allowances in tone for you? I can also assert that ...


39

Let's have another look at the Know-It-All move (emphasis mine). Know-It-All When another player’s character comes to you for advice and you tell them what you think is best, they get +1 forward when following your advice and you mark experience if they do. Now let's look at your proposed scenario: the Fighter is under attack and you've asked him ...


33

Short Answer The characters don't know, so there's no need to tell their players. But why's that? Your GM principles should give you your answer here: Address the characters, not the players. Begin and end with the fiction Give every monster life Remember, your principles and agendas are rules just like HP and armor. If you're telling the players ...


29

What's happening? Based on your account, the core problem happening here is a term called "Deprotagonization". It's the fancy word for "What you're doing doesn't matter" which is one of the things the rules in the various Apocalypse World descended games is aimed to stop. So, it sounds like he's violating several of the actual, rules of the game: The ...


28

First off, all of edgerunner's answers are great. But I wanted to add some Dungeon World specifics: Check p.19 and you'll see that 6- isn't "failure" - it's "trouble". The GM will say what happens and the player will mark XP. You are attaching non-DW simulationist ideas to DW mechanics by your supposition that 6- means "failure." These principles can apply ...


28

Don't forget that by drawing unwanted attention, it doesn't have to be attention from the monster they think they're fighting! He's invisible, right? Well, How about he draws unwanted attention in the form of ghosts or spirits? Or monsters that exist in the narrow space between planes where things that are invisible go? Your player chose to attract unwanted ...


26

Here are the traditional reason I would say no to my players and why I shouldn't in Dungeon World: Because doing so would ruin my plans In my head, this is physically impossible or there's not enough time etc. Because the action would cause sudden PvP combat Here's why I would be wrong to say no for those reasons in Dungeon World 1. Because doing so ...


26

Yes, but it's more work than you'd think You could keep levelling, but the game starts breaking down. You start running out of moves that you can take and you rarely ever fail rolls because your stats are all in the positive. The engine runs out of steam and the game starts to be boring. So you can, but you would have to start houseruling lots of bits of ...


25

Dungeon World encourages GM improvisation, but does not discourage preparation Dungeon World discourages an on-the-rails style of campaign where the players are simply there to work through the GM's plot. In the GM section, the authors emphasize improvisation (to run Dungeon World you'll need to adapt to the decisions your players make as they move through ...


24

"To parley, you have to have leverage." For the Parley move to trigger you have to have something over the NPC or something the NPC wants. Dungeon World uses the term leverage to describe this: "Leverage is anything that could lure the target of your parley to do something for you. Maybe it's something they want or something they don't want you to do. ...


24

The practical answer is that a general −1 to everything is a simpler rule with less bookkeeping that makes the game run faster. For an in-fiction explanation: Wearing clumsy armour is tiring, uncomfortable and distracting. These all make it harder to think straight and be alert.


23

As you play, the players say what their characters say, think, and do when it's relevant or interesting to the story. A good exercise would be to imagine you are reading a book. On a book you usually knows when a character feels fear or anger, but their evil betrayal is kept until the finale. Normally, characters' thoughts are shared like in these examples: ...


23

First, stop railroading them when they don't do anything. You're here to make the world do stuff, not make the players or the PCs do stuff. Making their decisions for them just teaches them that it's not really important to make those decisions themselves, and that's the last lesson you want people new to roleplaying to take away from the experience. ...


23

Dungeon World is an odd beast. If looked at through the lens of existing D&D experience, it doesn't look like anything different, and lots of its differences seem stupid. To really appreciate what it does differently you have to spend some time immersing your brain in it. I'm a veteran, but I still keep learning new things about the game—it's like ...


21

One thing you can do to make a big boss dangerous is just make normal Hack & Slash useless. Imagine they are fighting a storm giant or something the like, and they normal Hack & Slash, you can just say "ok, you are just chipping his toenails, that is not going to work." Force them to be creative: climb the giant (defy danger), try to out maneuver ...


20

Using Spout Lore to reveal a detailed, pre-created world is contrary to the rules. There is a caveat I should make here. I'm going to talk about rules the GM has to follow. You're welcome to not consider them binding rules, but DW as designed does. If you don't follow the GM rules, you're "voiding the warranty" on the game and it will not operate as ...


20

In practice, you stick to the moves and use the list, until you internalize it and no longer need to refer to the list, but even them you continue to use it. Just like when playing a Eurogame with a board, you do what the game says, exactly, if you want it to function as advertised. The GM's moves are multi-purpose. They: teach GMs new to RPGs how to GM ...


18

This looks like a good spot to let them succeed with complications. Some ideas that come to mind are: He climbs the chain but drops his weapon in the progress The chain he climbed happened to be on the wrong side of the tower, so he must brave more of the tower's denizens to reach his goal. The chain also happens to ground the tower's lightning rod, and ...


18

The narrative at hand is a perfect reason to make things difficult for the player. You should always ask questions like crazy, ie. ask for justification from the player about how he does what he does. He may want to hack and slash at the troll but he doesn't decide on what move his intended action corresponds to. Feel free to challenge his intent by ...


18

To some extent, this is the pitfall of collaborative storytelling mechanics: when you have a lot of cooks, the pie can come out weird. There are a number of ways you can get around this, depending on the style/attitude of your group: Let It Ride. While this sounds exactly what you do not want to do here, I present this merely as one option among many. ...


18

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at it's core, that distinguishes itself from D&D in the way it tells stories. The innovations are in the core philosophies and mechanics. Let me address each of your points in turn: Moves as Powers Moves are NOT just powers. Many are closer to D&D's feats. Others have no mechanical effect at all. Some simply tell ...


17

It isn't up to you to make your players defy danger with any particular stat. It's up to the players to describe how they defy the danger in a way which plays to their own strengths and by doing so indicate the stat they use: "The riders charge straight at you, whooping over the thundering hooves. What do you do ?" "I counter-charge with my shield to ...


16

When the text spells out an ability score, it means the score. When the text refers to the three-letter abbreviation, it means the modifier. HP uses the Constitution score plus a class-specific value. Dungeon World, page 17 Ability Scores and Modifiers Many of the rules discussed in this chapter rely on a player character’s abilities and their ...


16

You could make things mechanically more difficult by making custom moves, but I would not start there. Instead, narrate in the fiction greater consequences, via the GM's show an approaching/looming threat moves and follow up with hard moves, tougher monsters, and more damaging challenges. For a boss with giant sword, lead up to the fact that he's dangerous: ...


16

"Ask questions and use the answers" is a principle. What's not as obvious is that this principle doesn't tell you to just take whatever they answer as written in stone. You can "use" the answer to ask a follow-up question. The only thing you can't do by that principle is ignore the answers. "Huh, how is that supposed to work?" and "I can't picture that. Can ...


16

Trying to do this old school (no programs, just statistics and probability 101), it won't be short, but should be very informative (I'll add a summery later on). To help making this more vivid, let's consider 3 characters: "Fumbles" - he is really unlucky or unskilled, so he gets a -5 modifier. "Average Joe" (or just "Joe") - no modifiers. "Rambo" - he is ...


15

Dungeon World isn't a combat simulator. I'd recommend thinking about the combat as though it were a movie script and framing each shot. That should help you think about the correct level of granularity. Are these beetles supposed to be a threat by themselves, or are the three collectively a threat? There are rules for combating multiple enemies. [I don't ...



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